Posted on 12.17.2018

Christmas Time's A-Comin'

One of my favorite Christmas songs is old Bill Monroe bluegrass classic called "Christmas Time’s A-Comin'", a song that paints a picture of a rural observance of the Christmas season, a down to earth way of celebrating with the emphasis on spending time with family and friends and the simple joy of going home at Christmas to be with loved ones in nostalgic, familiar surroundings.

Most of my early Christmases were overshadowed by the Second World War and the overriding reality that many would be spending Christmas in a cold foxhole somewhere on the other side of the world so that those of us in America could spend Christmas and every other day of the year in comfort and safety.

The war was never far from the families who lived on the Eastern Seaboard, as German submarines prowled the waters just off our coast to pick off the cargo ships loaded with war goods and headed for our troops in Europe.

But even a world war can’t spoil a Christmas for those in single digits who still believed in Santa. It seemed like the entire world turned into a celebration, with special radio programs, the whole town decked out in red and green and a very large hardwood tree that was transformed every Christmas with thousands of lights, which at that time seemed the eighth wonder of the world to the youngsters in Wilmington, North Carolina.

It was known simply as "The Christmas Tree" and - at that time - was the probably the biggest fully-lighted full-grown tree outside the one set up in Rockefeller Center in New York City every year and drew visitors from all over the area.

The Annual Christmas Parade, always at night, the colorful floats interspersed with marching bands always highlighted by the performance of the Williston High School Band blasting out some familiar Christmas song louder and prouder than anybody else.

And finally, at the tail end of the long parade, the sum total of all our Christmas dreams, the big man himself, smiling and ho-ho-ho-ing, Santa Claus, sitting high up in a sleigh loaded on a trailer and pulled, not by eight flying reindeer, but an ordinary automobile.

But the missing reindeer and the miracle of Santa being able to move from a downtown department store to a sleigh traveling down Front street in the twinkling of an eye never cast even a tiny aspersion on my rock solid belief in the beloved fat man who was able to cover the entire planet in one night, remember the desires of millions of young hearts and climb down chimneys a squirrel would have trouble traversing, not to mention the wood stoves at the bottom of many of them.

It would be many years and many miles before I would truly understand the real meaning of Christmas and the miracle of miracles, the gift of gifts that had taken place in a small provincial town in Israel over two thousand years ago, when the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Savior of mankind would be born, not in a palace or a mansion, but an ordinary barn surrounded by livestock.

The night that Heaven must have been bursting at the seams as hosts of heavenly angels were singing and praising God in the skies above Israel and the good news was first given, not to the king or the Roman occupiers or the religious hierarchy, but to shepherds who were keeping watch over their sheep that night.

The circumstances of Jesus’s birth, the kind of blue collar, working class people who were first given the news and were the first humans to see him besides his parents, gives us insight into the humility, the meekness and the "no respecter of persons" nature of our Creator and His approach to delivering the greatest gift mankind was to ever be given.

So each year we celebrate Christmas, and, yes I agree that we have allowed it to become commercialized, and think it’s silly and wrong for people to be so politically correct they can’t even say MERRY CHRISTMAS, or take delight in disillusioning bright eyed little children about the existence of Santa Claus, but as long as we remember the real reason we do it, that we are celebrating the earthly arrival of Man’s only hope of salvation, in my humble opinion, bring it on.

Bring on the lights, the music, the noise and the Christmas trees, the presents, the jolly old elf himself, the gathering together of friends and family, the very special ambiance that touches even the most case-hardened heart in some way and gives us pause to remember Christmas past, and the dearly departed friends and family we spent it with.

I love Christmas and Christmas Eve is my very favorite day of the year.

We attend early services at our church and return home to spend the evening with family and friends sharing food and drink and enjoying each other’s company.

At the end of the evening, I always read Saint Luke’s version of the birth of our Lord Jesus, my story, “A Carolina Christmas Carol,” and have a prayer.

So, from the bottom of the hearts of myself, my family, the cowboys at Twin Pines Ranch and all the folks at the CDB, Merry CHRISTmas, Planet Earth.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

— Charlie Daniels


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Check out "Mudcat" from Beau Weevils - 'Songs in the Key of E'


Jesus is the Reason
Amen, Amen & Amen Charlie Jesus is the Reason for Christmas, I guess that is why His name is in it, CHRISTmas, I must agree that there is no better day in the whole year. Speaking of Bill Monroe, the Bill Monroe Music Park in Bean Blossom Indiana hosts the longest running Bluegrass Festival in the world every June, Wishing you, yours and everybody a very Merry Christmas, God Bless Plowboy
Posted by Plowboy
Thank you Mr. Charlie for everythang u do for our troops, our country, and the South. Thank you for signin your new book my mother got me at your church cuz i wasnt able to attend. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your. America needs more people like you.
Posted by Barry
Charlie Daniels is part of my Second Favorite Christmas
I am an old Marine that served in Desert Shield and Storm. I wrote this memory in 2008. My Second Favorite Christmas My Second Favorite Christmas I am the youngest of nine. Six girls followed by three boys. Dad was a World War 2 veteran, US Navy South Pacific, USS Alhena. Google it sometime. Christmases were always a fun time. We nine kids understood the meaning of Christmas, no, not the “Spirit of Christmas” crap that is pawned off on the world today. The Story of the Virgin Birth , of the coming of the Savior of the World. Dad always got us gifts for Christmas. He was a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that did not compromise his principles nor his belief that the Bible was the infallible Word of God. Preachers like that (the ones that will make sure you get to heaven or at least know about each and every pitfall that can stop you) do not get large congregations and work a real job during the week to earn a living. He worked hard for a living and the earliest Christmases I remember had few gifts for every one of us kids. They were never expensive, they were what we could afford. But the thought was there. The first gift I remember receiving was around the time I was 5 or 6 it was a dart gun. You know with the plastic darts with suction cups I even remember where they bought it and snuck it out to the car, on the square in Marion from Woolworths if I remember correctly. My first gun was a blue plastic dart gun. But my Second Favorite Christmas was the one I’ll never forget. It was in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 900 miles from where I grew up. I was in the Marine Corps getting ready to deploy to Operation Desert Shield, which would become Desert Storm. When I say getting “Ready to Deploy” I mean 2-3 days after Christmas I was to be on a plane flying to Killragheadistan. We were advised a few days before Christmas that we would be given a 36 hour liberty starting around 1200 Christmas Eve to show up back at the Camp by 0000 hours December 26. I called home and mentioned that I had l a 36 and would be going somewhere with some other Marines. (Probably getting in the Christmas spirits, but I left that detail out.) I do not know how the plans back home came together so quickly, but my mom and dad decided to drive to Camp Lejeune and spend Christmas with me, Apparently the rest of the family was going to postpone Christmas until they returned. One thing a Marine Grunt does not watch is the Weather Channel , or TV, for that matter. It doesn't;’t matter what the weather is doing, if you are outside it is what it is. If I had been near a TV, I would have seen the ice storm they would have had to drive through and called and told them some story about my squad’s liberty being yanked and we had to pull duty or something to keep them from braving the ice. The braved it anyway, and looking back, I am glad they did. We, the entire battalion, were returning from a 6 mile run, when I saw their car arrive, I ran to change into my civvies, or civilian attire, sign out and go to town. I ran to meet them. I told them I had a small list of items I would need before deployment. We went to Kmart and I rounded up the batteries and electric razor and toiletries, I think the bill was around 20 bucks. Dad paid for it and said,” Merry Christmas!” We then went to a North Carolina local eatery and had dinner. We had to drive around 40-50 miles to find a hotel. Dad and mom got a room and they got me my own room. Shortly after I was in my room, the phone rang, it was the front desk, “Hello, are you the Marine going to Desert Shield?” I replied in the affirmative, “Well, thank you, and please enjoy any and all movies In the room free of charge. Merry Christmas!” I stayed awake most of that night watching free movies. Christmas Morning broke early. We headed back in to Jacksonville , the car had some small problem and we found a garage that was open. As we were driving through the Carolina Pines on a sunny Christmas morning we listened to the Charlie Daniels Christmas Special. We stopped and had breakfast somewhere, then went to Saigon Sam’s Surplus Salvage, yes; it was open on Christmas Day. Dad and Mom bought themselves some team colors "Chocolate Chip” Desert Camouflage and bumper stickers. We went back to Camp Lejeune and I checked back in. They started back on their 20 plus hour ice storm laden drive. I, the youngest of nine , had my parents to myself for one Christmas. I did not intend to be selfish and keep them to myself, it just happened that year by circumstance. Thank you to the rest of my family for that Christmas. That is the story of my Second Favorite Christmas, “What is your Most Favorite Christmas?” you ask. That’s easy; I wasn’t there. My favorite Christmas is the First Christmas, The Birth of my Dear Savior, when He was deployed to save the world from an evil tyrant.
Posted by John
Awesome summary of now and then...
Who knew? When most were tots
 we were lead around
 We had training wheels 
 To church and town To nursery and Doctor 
 To school and home
 We were typically lead
 and never alone But then we sprang
 From the coupe, we flew
 But most came back
 To the nest - who knew? That those who lead
 Had been lead before 
 And they taught what they knew
 'Til we “hit the door” Once we were out
 Runnin' on our own
 We ner forgot 
 Our humble home The diapers, the potty 
 Kleenex and stew
 Homework and conference
 and dinner, who knew? That one day we'd find 
 Our turn as ours grew
 To let go and let God
 As ours left, who knew? God knew Adam
 before there was Eve.
 He knew each of us
 and the day we would leave He knew those before 
 and those yet to come
 He gave to our parents 
 And he gives to us, some. They did what they did 
 So we do what we do
 from parent to child;
 I AM Love and I Knew... jth 9/9/17 God is love...
Posted by Jeff
Christmas is important
I agree with being able to say the phrase "Merry Christmas". It brings so many joy and while some don't celebrate this holiday it should still be allowed. I feel as long as we don't discriminate towards others religions and holidays saying Merry Christmas is not hurting anyone.
Posted by Jayden